PoliRants #1: Immigration Ignorance

While browsing through posts on Stephen Harper’s official Facebook page, I stumbled across a video in which the Prime Minister is speaking with an immigrant family that is clearly extremely proud to be living in Canada and thankful for the opportunity to live in our great nation. When I scrolled to the comments section under the video, I was honestly quite shocked at what I read. As a member of the Conservative Party and a strong supporter of Stephen Harper, I am absolutely ashamed at the ignorance of so many of these comments. Harper has done amazing work for immigration, bringing in hundreds of thousands of new immigrants per year. Immigration will be a massive part of Stephen Harper’s legacy, and one of his most profound contributions to Canada’s history.

Immigration is the foundation of our nation. My father is an immigrant from the United Kingdom. That’s no different from an immigrant from India, the Philippines, China, Nigeria or Syria. He served in the British military and learned the skills he needed to become a strong contributor to this country and to our economy. When he first came to Canada after leaving the military, he took the first job he could get – sweeping the floors in a fabrication shop. In the military, he learned hard work, and with permission from his boss, he started practicing his welding in the shop after he was finished his regular working hours. After earning his red seal ticket, he started his own business, which was very successful for 13 years. After that, we relocated to Alberta and my father began work in oil field construction management. He now earns over $350K/year.This is the story of so many immigrants. Yes, there are bad apples amongst immigrants, but the same thing can be said for many people born in Canada. Immigrants contribute so much to this great nation. So many immigrants take more pride in being Canadian than born Canadians do. There was a contestant on the Amazing Race Canada this season that expressed his pride in being Canadian so greatly that it brought a tear to my eye. I’ve rarely seen such pride shown by people actually born here. It made me so glad to live in a country that embraces multiculturalism and to support a political party that has fought so hard to give immigrants an opportunity to make better lives for themselves and contribute to our economy.

Canada has been desperate for skilled workers for a very long time. There are immensely skilled workers in other parts of the world that want so badly to earn a better life in North America. Millions of those people have come to Canada and been unable to get jobs that utilize their skill sets due to credential equivalency. They end up working as cab drivers, fast food workers, servers and retail workers. It is absurd that we have people with skill sets in medical and STEM fields whose talents are wasted working menial jobs. Thanks to Stephen Harper’s foreign credential recognition process, people who have gone to school and earned an education outside of Canada can now upgrade their education to meet Canadian standards, and they can do it so much faster than they would if they had to completely redo their education from the beginning. This contributes immensely to the Canadian economy, and is essential to our continued growth.

True conservatives embrace what is best for this nation, and immigration, with due process, is a very good thing for Canada. Before expressing anti-immigration sentiments, please consider the above. Ignorance will only hurt our party. Let’s fight for Canada, not against it. Our Prime Minister has embraced immigration, and 100% of Canadians should follow his lead.

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My Run-In With Amy MacPherson

On August 18, 2015, I noticed NDP staffer Chris Markevich, who made waves early in the election 42 campaign with his bigoted anti-Christian tweets, complaining about Conservative Party supporters screencapping old anti-oil, antisemitic, offensive tweets from NDP candidates. As I had recently seen two caps of a number of Markevich’s offensive tweets, I decided to pull them up and tweet them at him with the comment “In all fairness, Chris, you make it way too easy”. Unknowingly, I also tagged another Twitter user in this comment, Amy MacPherson.

Initial
The initial interaction with Amy MacPherson.

Let me lay out some background info on MacPherson before I continue. MacPherson describes herself as a “freelance journalist” who has written for the CBC and Huffington Post. Her Twitter profile contains a link to her HuffPost page, with the last published article having been posted on October 22, 2013. Back in 2011, MacPherson ran for the NDP nomination in Simcoe-Grey and was soundly defeated by David Matthews. Since then, she started writing on freethepress.org, and the majority of the things she writes are downright loony, including accusing the Conservative Party and the Canadian Forces of setting up Jian Ghomeshi in his sexual assault scandal.

Anyways, continuing with August 18. In response to my tweet directed at Markevich, MacPherson decided to ask me for my full name, and asked if I was affiliated with the Conservative Party and any Conservative campaigns. At the time, I had not volunteered with any campaign in any federal election. I told MacPherson that I was not directly affiliated with any political party (I hold paid memberships to one federal and one provincial party, but do not have any direct affiliation with any party nor candidate). I figured that would be the end of it. It wasn’t. MacPherson screencapped my Twitter profile, showing where I wrote that I am a CPC member. Frustrated, I decided to Twitter search MacPherson and Markevich’s handles together, finding that they had an extensive tweet history going back to at least the beginning of 2014. Posting screencaps of this search, I asked MacPherson about her relationship with Markevich. I later posted that MacPherson’s followers should search her handle with Markevich’s for themselves to see her affiliation with the NDP. MacPherson, in her MacPherson-ian ways, decided to threaten to report me to the RCMP for this (which is quite asinine, because I have never done anything illegal at any point in our interactions). Foolishly, I figured our interactions that night would be the end of it. I was wrong.

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MacPherson threatens to report me to the RCMP for….tweeting?

On August 23, 2015, MacPherson really hit the loony bin. She decided to accuse me of working for NORAD and Raytheon, which is a subcontractor that has a contractor for maintenance on the North Warning System, made up mostly of old DEW Line sites. I did some contracting work at the North Warning System sites in Cambridge Bay and in Hall Beach, completing inspections on life safety systems in the work camps on these sites. For clarity, I spent only three days at the Cambridge Bay site, and two weeks at the Hall Beach site. Never, at any point in my life, have I been a NORAD or Raytheon employee. In fact, I have never worked for any government organization. At this time, my LinkedIn and Facebook pages listed my actual employer publicly. A friend who does recruiting for an oil company did the same searches that she does on prospective employees, and managed to find that info within 5 minutes. Simply put, MacPherson never did any actual research, and just went with the story that she felt could get her conspiracy theory the most hits. Taking it another step further, MacPherson accused me of being involved with the RCMP via “gifts”.

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MacPherson discovered nothing. I don’t work for either organization.
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Uhh…what..?

It was on this day, August 23 (while I was attempting to enjoy a much-deserved vacation on the West Coast with my girlfriend, by the way), that MacPherson’s fanclub started attacking me, and making some serious threats. One account, claiming to be affiliated with the hacker group Anonymous (highly doubtful, as the real Anonymous group doesn’t waste their time on these kinds of conspiracy theories, and would have at least looked for proof behind her accusations before embarking on these attacks), threatened to make me “real real famous”, and to put a “global spotlight” on me and my “handlers”. The account also posted private photos of my girlfriend and I, which I later discovered were hosted on my Instagram (where MacPherson would later screencap and post as “evidence” that I worked for NORAD, but I’ll get to that later). A friend, in a DM, pointed out to me that there is a link between this “Anonymous” account, “Canadianglen” and “Friendlysmoker”. MacPherson has done a number of podcasts with the latter two, and thus I had an official link between this Anonymous account and MacPherson. The next day, an account by the name “NyteKpr” also decided to make threats towards me, saying “Ur done”. The Anonymous account later returned to make further threats on August 30, “EXPECT LULZ YOU CUNT!!!”

Threat 1 Threat 2 Threat 3 Threat 4
A number of the threats I received.

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Exposing the link between Canadianglen and the Anon.

After these events, I opted to lock down my social media, including my Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and others. I was invited by Patrick Ross (AKA OutlawTory) to tell my side of this story, as he had past encounters with MacPherson himself, and I gratefully accepted. I told the truth, and nothing but the truth in this interview. Unlike MacPherson, Ross actually gave me the opportunity to answer questions. While MacPherson ran with her claims that I worked for NORAD, despite my response saying that I DO NOT work for NORAD, Ross never once even assumed that MacPherson’s story was true. I thank him for that.

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No, she never bothered trying to prove that I work for NORAD.

Somewhere along the line, MacPherson decided to write an article and claimed that she had filed it “with the RCMP and Elections Canada” regarding “Election Surveillance & Voter, Media Intimidation”. In this article, MacPherson accuses me of saying she was in a romantic relationship with Chris Markevich (apparently this so-called journalist does not know that the word “relationship” doesn’t exclusively mean romance). Once again, MacPherson also repeats her claims that I work for NORAD and Raytheon. In this article, she also included the previously mentioned screencaps from my Instagram account. Amongst these photos was a photo of the North Warning System logo on the door of a pickup truck, a photo of a “do not tresspass” sign written in both English and Inuinnaqtun, a photo of the “CAM-M” sign identifying the Cambridge Bay main camp and a photo of the Hall Beach NWS entrance sign, which is actually located adjacent to the airport in Hall Beach, NU. Also amongst these photos was a Conservative Party infographic, a photo taken of the Prime Minister’s house from a sightseeing cruise I took in Ottawa, a screenshot of this blog’s statistics after I posted my minimum wage article, a photo of the McDonalds “Take Ten” container that I decided to bring to the RCMP station in Mayerthorpe a few days after the shooting of an Edmonton Police Constable, and a photo of the RCMP’s press conference set-up, located in the public entrance of the K Division headquarters on 118th Ave in Edmonton. I’m unsure why MacPherson included these photos, and what her aim was in posting these. In later tweets, MacPherson accused me of posting these “classified photos” in violation of security measures. She claims that I would have had to complete a security check to even access these sites. There are, of course, a number of issues with these claims. Firstly, all of the photos that I posted were in public areas. The locals regularly traffic these areas in both Hall Beach and Cambridge Bay. Secondly, no security check was ever completed before I accessed these sites. Thirdly, the North Warning System isn’t even affiliated with NORAD. It is an entirely independent organization. There is not a single NORAD staffer on any of the North Warning System sites. As we’ve already seen, MacPherson has no interest in actually doing research or reporting any actual facts.

Photo 2015-09-10, 21 50 14The screencaps posted in MacPherson’s article were never anything the public didn’t have access to. They’re entirely innocent.

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More false claims from Amy MacPherson.

I decided to write this article after being alerted to MacPherson’s tweets made tonight, on September 10, 2015. Apparently a number of anonymous twitter accounts have been tweeting her gibberish that’s actually some kind of coding. Skipping past all the nonsense and freak-outs by MacPherson and her followers. Skipping past the fact that posting coding in a tweet does absolutely nothing at all, she eventually reaches a point where she openly blames me for the anonymous accounts. For starters, I have a job. I have better things to do. I’ve been ignoring MacPherson for the most part for a while. What do I have to gain from making anonymous accounts? Secondly, it appears that this account has been tweeting the same gibberish to a number of Conservative Party supporters as well, INCLUDING ME (I muted it after the first tweet directed at me, assuming it was one of the aforementioned MacPherson fanclub members). Again, we see that facts and research are not things that Ms Amy MacPherson is even remotely interested in.

Photo 2015-09-10, 22 07 42 Photo 2015-09-10, 22 23 16A photo posted by MacPherson containing gibberish and coding translations, coupled with yet another false accusation made by MacPherson against me, again, with zero concrete proof.

I’m writing this because I’m sick of the nonsense. I’m sick of the false accusations. I’m sick of the threats and harassment. I have better things to do. I’m focused on this election. I’m now volunteering on a number of election campaign teams. I just want my peace and quiet. I’ve been blocking everyone associated with MacPherson when they tweet me.I’m done with all of this, and this will be the last time I address this issue. Thanks for reading. Below is a short letter directly for Amy MacPherson.

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To Amy MacPherson,

I’ve collected all the tweets involved with this situation and I am prepared to hire a lawyer if you continue this campaign of slander and harassment. I have no interest in dealing with your BS. What you’re doing is sick. Accusing innocent people of being government spies is downright wacky. Focus on real stories, not on conspiracy theories. Advice from one writer to another: If you want to be an “investigative journalist”, actually do some proper research before running with wild accusations and conspiracy theories.

I’m an average Canadian citizen. I’m a blue collar tradesman. I make less than $30/hour. My combined household income is well under $100,000/year. Why am I telling you this? I’m telling you this to make you realize who you’re going after. I’m telling you this in hope that you’ll smarten up and cut the asinine accusations you’ve made against me. I get it. You hate the conservatives. That’s fine. A lot of people do, and you have every right to do so. Don’t take your hatred out on an innocent person who unknowingly mentioned you in a tweet. This has been going on for a month. I’m done with dealing with this harassment. Leave me out of it.

If you want to pay for a lie detector test and come out to Edmonton to watch me take this test, I welcome you to do so. I have nothing to hide, and I have done nothing wrong. It would be nice if you actually gave me the opportunity to prove this instead of running wild with your theories and slander. Until you’re willing to do this, don’t act like you have any info, because you don’t.

1977 words later, that’s all I have to say.

“Keep It In The Ground” – The NDP’s Not-So-Hidden Agenda

It’s been a while since I’ve written on my personal blog. I’ve been focusing over these past few months on the Calgary-Foothills byelection campaign and the federal campaign along with my writing for Poletical. This post, however, seemed more appropriate to me for this personal blog, and so here we are.

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Tom Mulcair has attempted to frame his party as one that is pro-development. Unfortunately for Mr. Mulcair, his own candidates have blown this perception to smithereens. Mulcair’s “star candidate” in Toronto-Centre, Linda McQuaig opted to explain on CBC’s Power and Politics that she believes oil sands should “stay in the ground” to meet climate change targets. Whether or not you believe in the existence of man-made climate change, this is a big blunder considering her leader’s “pro-development” claims. This Power and Politics quote led a number of Conservative “citizen journalists” (myself included) to embark on a search for other anti-oil NDP candidates, and we weren’t shocked by what we discovered. From Vancouver Centre’s Constance Barnes, to Edmonton-Strathcona’s Linda Duncan, to Churchill-Keewatinook’s Niki Ashton, all the way out to Abitibi-Baie-James-Nunavik-Eeyou’s Romeo Saganash, it appears that the vast majority of federal NDP candidates strongly oppose oil development, not only in Alberta’s oil sands, but anywhere in Canada.

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What was Ashton even trying to say here?

 Alberta’s oil sands alone directly provide over 100,000 jobs to Canadians. Downstream, they produce even more. From your average gas station attendant, to long haul truckers, to the pilots and flight attendants who transport workers from all over the country to the Athabasca oil sands region, the jobs created by the oil sands are very far reaching. Because of this, the economic impact of the oil sands goes way beyond the royalties and corporate taxes generated by their operation. With all of this in mind, any candidate from any party who opposes Canadian oil development simply doesn’t have the best interests of their constituents in mind.

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Vancouver-Quadra candidate Scott Andrews has a number of tweets similar to this.
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Edmonton-Strathcona has many residents who work in oil and gas. To Linda Duncan, ideology is more important than their jobs.
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Saskatchewan’s economy has become one of the strongest in Canada. Unemployment has consistently been the lowest in Canada. Cypress Hills-Grasslands candidate Trevor Peterson doesn’t care.

One of the claims most often repeated by NDP candidates is that Canada’s oil is “dirty”, but this simply isn’t true. On a global scale, the Athabasca Oil Sands produce only 0.15% of annual global GHG’s. That’s a fraction of what the auto sector, almost entirely staffed by unionized workers, produces. Oddly enough, we never see the NDP propose shutting down the auto industry. The Canadian oil sands are also a much cleaner (not to mention more ethical) alternative to Middle Eastern or African oil. The best case scenario for Canadians is to increase oil production and build a pipeline to Eastern Canada, as this can eliminate Eastern Canada’s reliance on dirty, unethical imported Middle Eastern oil. The Energy East Pipeline has been proposed by TransCanada, and Tom Mulcair has claimed that the NDP supports this pipeline. Again, this claim has been debunked by a number of NDP candidates, including Mulcair himself. In the August edition of French-language magazine L’actualité, Mulcair stated “we are against that pipeline” when asked about Energy East. It seems that Thomas Mulcair is more interested in protecting Middle Eastern wealth than he is in creating Canadian jobs or ending our reliance on imported oil. He’s not the only one.

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The Barrie-Innisfil Riding Association and candidate Myrna Clark have both expressed strong opposition to the Energy East Pipeline.
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Kanata – Carleton NDP candidate John Hansen fearmongers with cries of “disaster” in his opposition to Energy East.
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North Okanagan-Shuswap NDP candidate Jacquie Gingras is one of the most extreme anti-oil NDP candidates. She’s been joined by Alberta NDP MLA’s Lori Sigurdson and Shaye Anderson for her campaign. More opposition to Energy East.

Ultimately, there is only one party that Canadians can rely on to develop the oil sands, create jobs, and eliminate Canada’s reliance on foreign oil, and that is Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party of Canada. A vote for the NDP is a vote against Canadian jobs. This blog wasn’t so much about my own writing as it was about exposing NDP candidates for what they are. The NDP is bad news for Canadians. While the CBC and the rest of the mainstream media hides this reality, citizen journalists are unafraid to expose the truth about these extremists. On October 19, vote for the economy, Canadian jobs and Canadian oil over imported oil. Vote Conservative.

APaquette
Edmonton-Manning NDP candidate Aaron Paquette doesn’t just oppose the oil sands that employ many of the people he hopes to represent; he absolutely hates the oil sands and wants them shut down.
Photo 2015-08-09, 22 57 36North Vancouver NDP candidate Carleen Thomas is absolutely fanatical in her opposition to Albertan oil.
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Skeena-Bulkley Valley NDP candidate Nathan Cullen frequently hosts anti-oil events despite the local First Nation’s strong support for development and reliance on the resource industry to create jobs.

As always, I can be contacted by email at tnorrisyeg@gmail.com, or on Twitter at @TNorrisYEG.